Ascension of the Lord

We celebrate today the Ascension of the Lord.  It is a fascinating feast, full of paradoxes: a leave-taking that prepares us for an arrival, an absence necessary to reveal a fuller and deeper presence.  Jesus had already told his friends that it was necessary that he should go away, so that the promised Spirit could come, and lead them to a deeper and fuller truth. Contained in his farewell discourse, located by St. John on the evening of the Last Supper, it was a message intended to console, to comfort, to strengthen them for the trials to come. 

Teaching Mass for Faith First Students / Confirmation Retreat

What the homily is meant to accomplish is beautifully set out in Pope Francis’ teaching on the proclamation of the Good News, “The Joy of the Gospel”:

The Empyt Tomb

Last year, the world of music and poetry lost an iconic figure: Montreal’s very own Leonard Cohen. Without ever renouncing his Jewish identity and traditions, Leonard was also strongly influenced by Buddhist teaching and practice.  There are also many explicitly Christian images in his songs.

Good Friday

I first heard this refrain while returning to Calgary from the Rockies on my way to a medical meeting.  I remember being almost moved to tears by the plaintive quality of the voice singing it.  As I was preparing this homily, wondering how can one possibly put into any kind of human words what we

Lord, it is good for us to be here!

“Lord, it is good for us to be here!” These words, spoken by Peter on behalf of the disciples in today’s Gospel, express my sentiments well as we come together today (at St. Gabriel’s) to celebrate this Eucharist (Mass of Anticipation). 

You are my beloved child: in you I am well pleased

Lent begins – as it does each year – with the familiar story of the temptations of Jesus.  It’s a story we’ve heard many times before.  We know how it ends.  How can we allow these words of Jesus to challenge us, to speak to us in the circumstances and challenges of our daily lives?  As we embark

Trust in God Alone

How big is your God?  This question is going to be posed to us by Fr.

The Truth and the Witness to the Truth

Good morning.  There is a wonderful theme running through our readings this morning which can be summed up in the phrase, “light in the darkness”. Light is one of God’s creations which defines the universe and defines us.

The Great Sermon on the Mount

While reflecting on the Scriptures for this weekend's homily, I realized that we are coming to the end of the week of prayer for Christian unity, and the beginning of the week of prayer for vocations.  And something came back to me from a retreat I attended many years ago.

Installation of Fr. Michael Leclerc as Pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Every year, between January 18 and January 25, Christians around the world celebrate a week of prayer for the unity of all Christians: to reflect on scripture together, to participate in ecumenical services, and to share fellowship.  In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Pro